Monday, September 24, 2012

New Year Dance Retreat with Karen Nelson

Dec 28 - Jan 1
Hanna Barn Studio, Vashon Island, Washington

What brings new energy?

The purpose of this retreat is to rest and revitalize through meditation, dancing, living and cooking together as we cross thru the dark into a new calendar year. Practices we will use include Contemplative Dance Practice, Contact Improvisation, Material for the Spine, Tuning Scores, and Embodied Life/Feldenkrais-derived guidance.

In teaching, Karen Nelson offers practices that she has passionately studied, taught, practiced and performed for over 35 years, including: 

  • Material for the Spine, a movement system developed by Steve Paxton involving sensations of the skeleton, reflex, inherent spirals of human movement, perfect forms, energy extension and relationship with gravity; 
  • Tuning Scores, developed by Lisa Nelson are activities based in sensation/perceptual awareness and provide tools for crafting composition within improvisation; 
  • Embodied Life, a singular fusion of Feldenkrais approach, zen-style meditation and "embodied listening-speaking/focusing" developed by Russell Delman; 
  • Contact Improvisation originated by Steve Paxton and others in 1972, a foundational movement technique -- a boon to any dancer or person who enjoys moving;
  • Contemplative Dance Practice, Qi Gong/Shibashi, meditation.

Contact Karen with any questions about the retreat:
heartgreen (at)
Dec 28, 6pm through Jan 1, 1pm
3 sessions per day + evening inventions

Facilities include a beautiful dance room, an upstairs dorm sleeping and eating room, a garage kitchen for cooking communal meals. 
Each of us will bring food and take turns cooking for the group. We will share chores for upkeep of our space.

The Island provides lovely beaches and forested walks, a health club with sauna and swimming, public bus service to and from our site, good food shops/farms, and more.

Suggested donation:
$250 + food offerings with registration before Dec 1
$300  + food offerings with registration  after Dec 1

To register:
send a note of intention
plus a $50 deposit to
Karen Nelson, 18422 103rd Ave SW, Vashon, WA 98070
>>group size is limited to around 11<<
Full time only please.
Open to all levels of experience.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Contact Improv and Contemporary 6-Week Series with Cyrus Khambatta

Partnering with All Parts
Contact Improvisation
New Fall Series
Oct. 11-Nov. 15
6 Weeks in West Seattle

Each Thursday 6:30-8:30pm


This workshop series combines elements of contact improvisation (CI) with other partnering methods to create new and activate underutilized pathways in the body-to-body dialogue that are intuitive. Beginning with Cyrus' own release-based "fitting" technique, we will work with developing an awareness of the miniscule shifts in the concave and convex surface and architecture of two bodies. The "fitting" both calms the nervous system and provides an infinitely more complex and complete sensory road map to a partner's body that we use as we learn to move through the air and surf more quickly across bodies.

Facilitated by Cyrus Khambatta

Cyrus has over 25 years teaching experience with CI and contemporary dance. This workshop is from Cyrus' latest teaching tour through Europe. A sensitive teacher, Cyrus creates a progressive learning arc, enabling students to be challenged at a comfortable pace with great skill accumulation.

Cost $100-$240 sliding scale
$25 deposit due by Oct. 5, remainder at first class.

For more information, email CYRUS (at) or call 206-607-7537

Make check out to Phffft! Mail to 5609 34th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98126
or call/email for credit card payment options. Series takes place at above address.

Participants also receive 10% off the Centrum jam Dec. 13-16, 2012. Inquire at

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Seattle Contact Improv Workshop:
March 17-18, 2012

Human Contact: Explorations in the art of Contact Improvisation
A weekend workshop with Karl Frost
March 17-18, 2012 at Grass Roots Studio, 5609 34th Av SW in West Seattle

Contact Improv is an open ended investigation of bodies moving through contact. There are no rules and no one technique defines the practice, but within it are a plethora of techniques, practices, and studies. This workshop looks at the intersections of the emotional body and the physical body and of solo movement exploration and contact improvisation. We’ll borrow perspectives from somatic-psychology and paratheatrical work to explore
  • moving from the emotional body
  • mindfulness in movement
  • personal and transpersonal material
  • letting go of the ‘social self’ to move deeper layers
  • the balance of using the mind and letting go of the mind
  • cultivating supportive presence that allows us all to get a bit more vulnerable and exposed in our movement explorations
  • taking everything that inch farther that turns it into something new
  • looking into the self for an embodied poetics that transcends self
Warm ups will be based in a fusion of chi gung, simple yoga asana and mindfulness practicesto help us drop in. We’ll also mix in a bit of contact technique to support our explorations of an embodied sense of meaning in movement.

Mind work, Body work, and some sweat!

Saturday 12-6 / Sunday 2:30-8
$150 - $250 sliding scale
**$110 early enrollment by March 9**
to register, visit the web site at or email Body Research at info (at)

Karl Frost, director of Body Research Performance, has been exploring and teaching Contact Improvisation since the late 80s. His teaching and performance work has been showcased in over 20 countries on 5 continents. His work focusses on the somatic experience of life and incorporates postdramatic performance works for the stage and participatory performance events that question who we are and how we choose to live with each other. His performance work, Axolotl, in which the audience is blindfolded for 2 hours, has been performed over 70 times in 20 cities. He is currently a grad student at UC Davis, where he recently completed his MFA in Choreography and where he currently pursues a PhD in Ecology, with an emphasis in Human Ecology and Cultural Evolution.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Benefit for the Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation


A benefit concert for the Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation

Saturday, February 11 / 8pm
Velocity’s Founders Theater
1621 12th Ave, Seattle

An evening of spontaneous invention in movement, sound and light.

Tickets $20 minimum donation Information:

Raffle Prizes! Wellness Package / Tool Package / SFDI Package

Flashes of Brilliance is a one-night chance to witness the sparks of artistic creation at their exact moment of ignition. Movement artists, musicians and two dexterous lighting designers will teeter between instinct, play and loss of control as they improvise a night of performances that challenges the artists to create work in the moment. The Flashes of Brilliance that ensue will be unique, unrehearsed, and will exist for this one night only.

This night of spontaneous invention in movement, music and lighting will benefit Velocity’s newly acquired program: the Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation (SFDI).

Featuring the work of:


Linda Austin / Stephanie Skura / Amelia Reeber / Alia Swersky / Aaron Swartzman / Karen Nelson / Douglas Ridings / Beth Graczyk / Peggy Piacenza / Wade Madsen


Byron Au Yong / Angelina Baldoz / Adam Kozie / Stephen Fandrich / Lena Simon / Beth Fleenor / Paris Hurley


Dave Proscia / Ilvs Strauss / David Verkade

Friday, February 3, 2012

Contact Improv Workshop on Whidbey Island

Contact Improvisation As Healing Art:
Workshop & Performance with Stu Philips

Friday, March 2, 2012, 6:30-8:30pm: CI Performance/Beginning Demo & Lesson
Saturday, March 3, 11-4pm: Workshop

Workshop consists of methods of being, particularly with self, and extending those out when “interacting” with others, by deconstructing, undermining and bypassing easily our usual or known mental and physical patterns, and allowing our true/real raw emotional energy to transform our dance movement, as well as ourselves, through behaviorally articulating who we are in aligning with how we are, perfectly.

Stu will lead an introduction with performance and participatory elements for anyBODY on Friday evening. Saturday’s workshop will go into depth researching and practicing the healing potentials of the art of Contact Improvisation: dancing in physical (and other means of) contact with others.

Stu Phillips is a Professional Contact Improvisational Dance Performer and Teacher of more than 24 years, teaching and performing throughout the U.S., Canada and New Zealand, also teaching and performing Improvisational Dance and Theater for 30 years throughout US. The focus is full expression, tuning to emotional and energetic reality constantly in personal flows, portraying that onto students with gentle psychic sensitivity. He is based in Eugene, Oregon.

Suggested Donation: $10-15 (at door) for Friday
$50-60 (at door) for Saturday
Work Exchange also available.

The workshop takes pace at Butopia and SOMA: Sanctuary of Moving Arts on Whidbey Island in Freeland, WA 98260. For more information, contact Maureen Freehill at momo (at) or (206) 855-5836.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Contact Improv Video

Contact improvisers with young kids will especially enjoy this video.